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Monday, 3 June 2013

Food, Glorious Food... Cupcakes

What? You don’t know how to make cupcakes? The recipe isn’t permanently engraved on your mind? Dishonour! Dishonour on your whole family! (Make a note of this) Dishonour on you, dishonour on your cow...

Anyway, let’s fix that. Basic recipe for cupcakes with butter cream.

150g (6 oz) Self-Raising Flour
100g (4 oz) Butter or Baking Spread
100g (4 oz) White Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
Vanilla Essence or Cocoa Powder (Other options too... we’ll get to that later).

50g (2 oz) Butter or Baking Spread
100g (4 oz) Icing Sugar
Vanilla Essence or Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp of Milk
You’ll also need a bun tray (patty tin) and cupcake cases. If you don’t have a bun tray, use a regular baking tray but double up the cases so they keep their shape in the oven. If you don’t have cases, you can always use greaseproof paper. If you don’t have either... what are you doing looking up cupcake recipes? Anyway,

1) Cream the butter and sugar (for the cake mix) in a large mixing bowl, preferably with a wooden spoon. But hey, it’s your life.
2) Add the eggs and one tablespoon of the flour and mix it all together. The flour will stop the mix from curdling.
3) At this point, add your “optional extra”. You can be creative here. Vanilla or cocoa are very popular. If you’re using cocoa, make sure it’s the proper kind, not hot chocolate mix (I recommend Bourneville). A little granulated coffee won’t be noticed in the cakes, but brings out the flavour of the chocolate immensely. You could also try any other essences you find, or lemon peel, nuts and raisins, honey... the oven is your oyster.
4) Add in the rest of the flour and stir till a batter is formed. Put the cases in your tin and spoon in the mixture. This recipe makes about twelve (but can stretch to 13 as you see here).
5) Bake at 200 degrees for around fifteen minutes. Check by putting a knife through one; if it comes out clean the cakes are done. The great thing about cupcakes is they’re so small they won’t collapse if you prick them.
6) While your cakes are cooling, hopefully on a wire rack, soften the butter in a small bowl and gradually sift in your icing sugar, along with cocoa if required. I’ve found adding a teaspoon of milk at this stage blends the icing really well. Add any essences, or food colouring if desired, with the milk.
7) If you have a piping bag, wonderful. If not, simply use a spoon or palette knife to spread as much icing as you want on each cupcake. See yesterday’s picture.

I hope you all have fun cupcaking. I love the fact that you can be as creative or plain as you want to be... they’re still delicious! Once you get more adventurous, you could even add your own fillings. Simply use an apple corer to remove the centre of the cake and fill with lemon curd, stewed fruit, jam, Nutella... Anything you like. If Wolf is agreeable, I might just tell you our six special recipe ideas!
Also, as you get more confident, you’ll realise that it’s all about ratios. For example, you can make as much butter cream icing as you need by following the rule of icing sugar: butter = 2: 1. Happy baking!

PS. I’ve looked at a lot of American recipes in my time, and I know you guys measure differently and have different names for some ingredients. I’d be fascinated to find out some of these, so if you leave a comment or email I’ll try to include them in my recipes to avoid confusion. Thanks! xxx


  1. Thank you so much for this! I have actually struggling to find a perfect vanilla cupcake, I can be a bit of a perfectionist with baking, I'll give this recipe a try! :)

    1. Thanks for the comment! This recipe has always worked for me. If you're having any problems or make any discoveries, please do let me know! Hope they turn out well! :) xxx


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